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Descendants of James Gillespie Birney II
Family genealogy beginning with his father.

-- Contributions made by Ken Birney, Michelle Panton, and many others.
-- Added March 2003 (Updated Feb., 2010)

His fatheer, James I., was born at Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. He ran away from home and in 1783 headed for America, and initially settling in Philadephia for a few years, before moving to Danville, Kentucky. Here he was able to develope great success in the mercantile and banking businesses, and where he lived out his life as prominent Kentuckian, and was able to provide the well being of his family.

His only son, James G. II, established himself as one of the prominent leaders in the movement to free slaves, and as prominent national political figure during his time. Twice he ran as the abolitionist's candidate President of the United States, and two for Governor of Michigan. He was a man of high intellect and lived by the principles of his deep and abiding Christian faith. Many of his descendants went on to emulate his high standard in their own lives.

Editorial note:

  • The following descendancy chart is a compilation obtained from a number of different sources, including written histories. The information provided here should not be interpretted as validated facts, rather it is a "best efforts" rendition of the heritage of this Birney family. The primary purpose of this page is provide the heritage linage for this Birney family only.
  • The basis for much of the information on this page was provided by Ken Birney from his website [Birney Genealogy Pages], which includes genealogies on other Birney families, and history of the Birney name.

    [photo] Indicates an image of this person is available in "Family Pictorial."


    1. James Gillespie BIRNEY I [photo] (b. 1767 Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland; d. 1839; burial: Old Reed Graveyard, Boyle Co., KY)
    ----- Marriage: 15 Apr 1791, Lincoln Co., Ky.: Martha "Maria" REED (b. ? d. 1795; burial: Old Reed Graveyard, Boyle Co., KY.);

  • Daughter of John Reed & Elizabeth Wilcox.


      2. James Gillespie II [photo] (b. 4 Feb 1792 Danville, Mercer Co., KY; d. 25 Nov 1857 Eagleswood, Middlesex Co., NJ; Cem. Williamsburg, Groveland, Livingston, Co., NY)

        ----- 1st Marriage: 01 Feb 1816 KY
        Agatha MCDOWELL (b. 1 Apr 1798 Bowling Green, Warren Co., KY; d. 1838, Danville, Mercer Co, KY; Cem. ?)

      • Daughter of Judge William McDowell & Margaretta Madison (dau. of John Madison, brother of the father of President Madison)

        3. James M. BIRNEY III [photo] (b. 7 Jun 1817 Danville, Mercer Co., KY; d. 8 May 1888 Bay City, Bay Co., MI; Cem. Pine Ridge, Bay City, Bay Co., MI)
        ----- Marriage: 01 Jun 1841 Amanda S MOULTON (b. 1819 PA; d. 8 Mar 1886 Bay City, Bay Co., MI; Cem. Pine Ridge, Bay City, Bay Co., MI)

          4. James G BIRNEY IV [photo] (b. 1844 New Haven, CT; d. 16 Jan 1870 Fort Davis, TX; Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn, NY)
          ----- Marriage: Mary D. DEUEL [photo](b. 1842; d. 1 Apr 1884, New York, NY; Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn, NY)
            5. Newton D. Birney (b. 1867 NY; d. 17 Dec 1868, TX.; Green-Wood Cem., Brooklyn, NY)
          4. Sophie Hull BIRNEY (b. 1848 New Haven, CT; d. 25 Jan 1909, Hopewell Twsp., Mercer Co., NJ - burial, Pine Ridge Cem., Bay City, MI)
          ----- Marriage: 28 Jul 1892 Bay City, MI (Trinity Lutheran Ch.) William T. BLACKWELL (b. 1841, Blackwell mansion, Astorial, LI; d. 14 Aug 1884, Manhattan, NY)
          4. Alice A. BIRNEY (b. 1851/52, Cincinnati, OH; d. 17 Oct 1936, New York, NY) {Obit}
          ----- Marriage: 24 Sep 1873, Bay City, MI (parent's res.) Frank E BLACKWELL (b. 1846; d. 10 Jan 1911, New York, NY)
            5. Birney BLACKWELL (b. 01 Jan 1875; d. 23 Mar 1932, New York, NY)
            ----- Marriage: 25 Nov 1913 Margherita HUNGERFORD (b. ?; d. 5 Jul 1935)
            5. Frank Engs BLACKWELL (b. 1877/78; d. 28 Apr 1951, Water Mill, LI, NY)
            ----- Marriage: Unk. Unkown.
            5. Alice Birney BLACKWELL (b. 1880/81; d. 14 Dec 1938, Plainfield, NJ)
            ----- Marriage 26 Nov 1907 Francis Willoughby FROST (b. ?; d. 15 Dec 1935)
            5. Jennet D. BLACKWELL (b. 1885/86; d. ?)
            ----- Marriage: 3 Apr 1913 James Harvey WILLIAMS, Jr. (b. 22 Mar 1882; d. 23 Feb 1942)
          4. Arthur M. (May 25, 1849 Cincinnati, OH - Jan. 1882 Ft. Keogh, MT), buried: Greenwood Cem., Brooklyn, NY) {Obit}
        • Cornell Univ., 1872
          ----- Marriage: Name Unknown.

        3. William McDowell BIRNEY [photo] (b. 28 May 1819 Huntsville, Madison Co., AL; d. 14 Aug 1907 Forest Glen, MD; Oak Hill Cem., Georgetown, D.C.)
        ----- 1st Marriage: 13 Nov 1846, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH Catharine "Katie" HOFFMAN (b. 1825 MO; d. 1891; Oak Hill Cem., Georgetown, DC)

          4. Ulric Hoffman BIRNEY (b. 1859 France; d. 1880 Texas) - Lawyer.
          ----- Marriage: Elizabeth b. (1868; d. 1872; Oak HIll Cem., Georgetown, DC)
          4. Richard Conway BIRNEY (b. 1847 Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH; d. ?)
          4. Margaret Madison BIRNEY (b. 1849 Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH; d. ?)
          4. Arthur Alexis BIRNEY (b. 28 May 1852 Paris,France; d. 1916)
        • (1) U. of Mich., 1873. (2) Asst. US atty, 1893-7.
          ----- Marriage: 2 Nov 1875. Helen Townsend CONWAY ? (b. 1857 MD; d. ?)
        • Co-founder Nat'l Congress of Woman, 1897.
            5. Richard Conway BIRNEY (b. 10 Aug 1876 France; d. ?)
            5. Margaret M. BIRNEY (b. 29 Oct 1877 France; d. ?)
            5. Edith S. BIRNEY (b. 17 Jun 1879 France; d. ?)
            5. Helen BIRNEY (b. 22 Jan 1881)
            5. Arthur A. BIRNEY (b.3 Sep 1882; d. 22 Jul 1899) -Drowned
            5. James G. BIRNEY V (b. 30 Jul 1884; d. 22 Jul 1899) -Drowned
            5. William Verplanck BIRNEY (b. 2 Dec 1886)
            5. Dion Scott BIRNEY [photo] (b. 16 Jul 1889; d. Dec 1965)
            5. Catherine BIRNEY (b. 24 Sep 1891)
            ----- Marriage: James H. Strong.
          4. Albert Alfred BIRNEY (b. 1853; d. 1863)
          4. Florence Hallowell BIRNEY (b. 1854; d. 1895)
          ----- Marriage: Randolph GETCHELL (b. 14 Sep 1838)
          ----- Marraige: Edgar HOYT
          ----- Marriage: Alice Josephine McLellan (b.19 Oct 1858, Marietta, Geo.; d. 20 Dec 1907, Wash., DC)
            5. Catherine BIRNEY (b. 1893)
            5. Lillian BIRNEY (b. 1895)
          4. Katherine (b. 17 Sep 1856 Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH; d. 1936)
          ----- Marriage: 12 Nov 1891. Albert N SEIP
            5. Albert Birney SEIP (b.17 Jul 1893; d. 9 Mar 1923; Oak Hill Cem., Georgetown, DC)
          4. William Verplanck BIRNEY (b. 5 Jul 1858 Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH; d. 1908)
        • Artist, portraits, Nat'l Art Sch., Phila.
          ----- Marriage: 28 Oct 1895. Emily Lucy MIDDLETON.
          4. Theodore Weld BIRNEY (b. 8 May 1864 IL; d. 20 Dec 1897 Wash., DC; Oak HIll Cem., Georgetown, DC)
        • Grad. Lehigh Univ., Georgetown Law Sch.
          ----- Marriage: Jan 1893, Atlanta. Alice M. MCLELLAN [photo]
        • (1) Previous marriage: Alonzo J. White. (2) Co-founder of Nat'l Congress of Mothers, 1897.
            5. Catherine Weld BIRNEY [photo]
            5. Harriet Lilian BIRNEY [photo]
          4. Herman Hoffman BIRNEY, Dr. (b. 1866 IL; d. Phila, PA.)
        • Grad. Columbian Univ., Wash., DC. PA
          ----- Marriage: Elizabeth BOUDE
        • Field secy. Nat'l Congress of Woman, 1914.
            5. Herman Hoffman BIRNEY, Jr. (b. 1891 PA; d. 1958)
            5. Knox Boude BIRNEY [photo] (b. 1892; d. 20 Oct 1918 France)
          4. Elizabeth Fitzhugh BIRNEY (b. 1868; d. 1872)

        ----- 2nd marriage: Mattie C. ASHBY (of VA)

      • Related to Confederate Gen. Turner Ashby.
          4. No known children.

        3. Margaret BIRNEY (b. 1821 Huntsville, Madison Co., AL; d. 1822 Huntsville, Madison Co., AL)

        3. Dion B. BIRNEY* (b. 8 Feb 1823 Huntsville, Madison Co., AL; d. 17 Aug 1863 Saginaw, Saginaw Co. MI) * Some genealogist show name as Robert Dion.
        ----- Marriage 31 Aug 1845, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH: Sarah Irwin CRAWFORD (b. 13 Jan 1829 Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH; d. 9 Jul 1894 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI)

          4. Robert James BIRNEY (b. 11 Jun 1846 Kentucky; d. 30 Oct 1906)
          ----- Marriage: Leila Blanche STILLMAN (b. 8 Dec 1852 NY; d. 5 Nov 1894)
            5. Dion Leslie BIRNEY (b. 21 Feb 1875; d. 29 Aug 1876 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI; Cem. Oak Grove)
            5. Agnes Leila BIRNEY (b. 14 May 1876; d. 29 Jul 1908 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI)
            ----- Marriage: Franklin W. CALLAM (b. 13 Sep 1872 MI; d. Feb 1910)
            5. Mary Irwin BIRNEY (b. 15 Aug 1879 MI; d. 3 Oct 1912 Spokane, WA)
            ----- Marriage: Edward Crouter MAXSON, Jr. (b. 14 Apr 1879 Candada; d. 3 Mar 1933)
            5. Sarah Stillman BIRNEY (b. 13 Apr 1883 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI; d. 25 Oct 1940 Kalamazoo, MI)
            ----- Marriage: Edward Matthews EVANS (b. 9 Mar 1881; d. 9 Mar 1881 MI)

          4. Anna LeMond BIRNEY (b. 15 Sep 1848 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI; d. 19 Jun 1923; Winchester, MA.)
          ----- Marriage: Charles Seymour
            5. Charles Birney SEYMOUR (b.1866-CT; d. Mar 1918)
            ----- Marriage: Winifred GREER (b. MI)

          4. Leslie Dion BIRNEY (b.11 Dec 1850 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI d. 13 Dec 1861)

        3. David Bell BIRNEY [photo] (b.29 May 1825 Huntsville Madison Co., AL; d. 18 Oct 1864 Philadelphia, PA; Cem. Woodlands, Phila., PA.)
        ----- 1st Marriage: Anna B CASE m. 6 May 1847, Covington, Ky.; b. abt. 1827; d. abt. 1856 Phila. Pa.

          4. Agatha McDowell BIRNEY (b. 5 Apr 1848 Sayman (Saginaw) City, MI; d. 29 Jan 1868 Phila., PA)
          4. Frank Case BIRNEY (b. 21 Nov 1849 Covington, KY; d. 18 Jul 1871, Phila., Pa.)
        • Single, Ensign US Navy at time of death.
          4. William G. BIRNEY (b. 21 Nov 1851 Phila., PA; d.?)
          4. Annabel BIRNEY (b. 15 Sep 1853 Phila., PA; d. ?)

        ----- 2nd Marriage: bet. 1856-60 Maria Antionette JENNISON (b. 1831 Phila., PA; d. 3 Oct 1902, Phila., PA.; burial: Woodland Cem.)

          4. Mary E. BIRNEY (b. 1860 Phila., PA; d. still born, Buried: Union Cem.)
          4. David Bell BIRNEY, Jr. [photo] (b. 5 Jun 1861 Phila. PA; d. 2 Nov 1906, Phila., PA)
        • Surgeon, M.D. Degree Univ. Penn, 1885.
          ----- Marriage: Mary Jane LANE
          4. Philip Kearny BIRNEY (b. 29 Oct 1863 Phila., PA; d. 27 Mar 1865 Phila., PA; Woodland Cem.)

        3. Arthur Hopkins BIRNEY (b. 1827 Huntsville, AL; d. 1833)

        3. Martha Reed BIRNEY (b. 1829 Huntsville, AL; d. 1833)

        3. George BIRNEY (b. 1 Feb 1832 Huntsville, AL; d. 13 Nov 1856 Bay City, MI; Cem. Pine Ridge, Bay City, MI)

        3. Florence BIRNEY (b.1835 KY; d. 5 May 1917, Bay City, MI)
        ----- Marriage: abt. 1854 Bay City, Bay, MI Charles E. JENNISON (b. 1829 Baton Rouge, LA; d. 30 Jun 1915, Bay City, MI); 1853, Bay City, MI

          4. Elizabeth (b. 1856, Bay City, MI)
          ----- Married: 7 Nov 1877, Bay City, MI. Trinity Ch. Frederick L. GILBERT (b. 1852 Albany, NY;)
          4. Charles M. (b. 1859, Bay City, MI; d. 25 Aug 1918, Bay City, MI)
          4. George (b. 1861, Bay City, MI)
          4. William (b. 1865, Bay City, MI; 6 Feb 1922, Bay City, MI)
          4. Dudley M. (b. 1867, Bay City, MI; d. 7 Sep 1915)

        3. Georgina BIRNEY (b. 1836 OH; d. 1836)

        3. Ellen BIRNEY (b. 1838 NY; d. 1838 NY)

      ----- 2nd Marriage: 25 Mar 1841 Elizabeth Potts FITZHUGH (b. 1803 Hampton-on-the-Hudson, NY; d. 12 Jan 1869; Cem. Williamsburg, Groveland, Livingston Co., NY)
      -- Daughter of William Frisby FITZHUGH (1761-1839) & Ann HUGHES (1771-1829).

      • When Elizabeth's father, William Frisby FITZHUGH (6 Oct 1761 - 28 Dec 1839), died she inherited a considerable sum of money. Her siblings were Rebecca Anne - married Frederick F. BACKUS; William Hughes, James; Henry, Robert Hughes, married Maria CARROLL; Mary, married John T. TALLMAN; Richard Potts (28 Aug, 1793 -?); Daniel Hughes (20 Apr 1794 - 1881), married Anna Frisby DANA; Samuel Hughes (1795 - 21 Feb 1849), married Elizabeth ADDISON, and Ann Carroll (11 Jan 1805 - ?). Daniel and James G. became close friends, both speculated heavily in properties in the Saginaw Valley.

        3. Fitzhugh BIRNEY [photo] (b. 9 Jan 1842 Saginaw, Saginaw Co., MI; d. 17 Jul 1864 Washington, Washington Co., DC; Cem. Williamsburg, Groveland, Livingston Co., NY)
        ---- Marriage: 25 Dec 1863, Phila. Pa. Laura STRATTON (b. Phila., Pa.; d. 1868)

      • Daughter of Caroline Chase Stratton.
          4. Bettie BIRNEY (b. 1864)

        3. Anna Hughes BIRNEY (b. 27 Nov 1843 Bay City, Bay Co., MI; d. 8 Mar 1846, Bay City, MI; Cem. Williamsburg, Groveland, Livingston Co., NY)


      2. Anna Maria Reed BIRNEY (b. 4 Jul 1793 KY; d. 30 Mar 1859 Frankfort, KY) aka: Nancy.
      ----- Marriage: 14 Jun 1809 John Jay MARSHALL Judge (b. 4 Aug 1785-Woodford Co.,KY; d. Jul 1846 Louisville, MD)

        3. James Birney MARSHALL (b. 25 May 1810 Frankfort, KY; d. Sep 1870 Memphis, TN) Journalist.
        ----- Marriage: Oct 1829 OH. Mary Ann MOORE. (b.14 Jun 1809 Cincinnati, OH; d. Dec 1885 Covington, KY)
          4. Kate Birner MARSHALL (b. 6 May 1840 Henry Co., KY; d 11 Apr 1895 Covington Co., KY)
          ----- Marriage: 2 Apr 1872. John L. SANDFORD (b. 7 Dec 1837 Cambell Co., KY; d. 11 Apr 1895 Covington, KY)
        3. Humphrey MARSHALL (b. 13 Jan 1812;d. Unk.) General, Civil War
        ----- Marriage: Jan 1833. Frances E. MCALISTER
          4. John J. MARSHALL (b. 1849;d. 1865)
          4. Humphrey MARSHALL
          4. Nellie MARSHALL
        3. John James MARSHALL (b. 1915;)
        5. Anna Marie MARSHALL (b. 1817)

    JAMES G. BIRNEY I (continued)

    Marriage #2: Unknown Reed (Ky. Newspaper history states she was sister of Martha REED and died 1 year after marriage.)

    Marriage #3::
    Mrs. Richardson (Ky. Newspaper history state she was a sister to wife of Clement POLK)

    Important: The above genealogy data has been derived from many different sources, as well as those listed below, "none of it has been verified: for accuracy by Bay-Journal.


    James G. Birney, twice a candidate for president of the United States and once for governor of Michigan, whose name was favorably known throughout the civilized world, came to reside at Lower Saginaw in 1842. He was a third owner in the former Saginaw Bay company's lands and his enlightened policy and liberal dealings with early purchasers did much toward starting the growth of the town on a solid basis, and his early importation of blooded stock was a great benefit in improving the breed of cattle, the beneficial effects of which are seen at this day. Mr. Birney continued to reside at Lower Saginaw, now Bay City, till about 1855 when he removed to the state of New Jersey where he died four or five years afterwards.

    Mrs. Birney, whose kindness of heart and benevolent acts greatly endeared her to the early settlers of the locality, survived her husband a few years, when she also passed to the unseen world.

    Dr. Dion Birney, who was a surgeon in the army in the war of the rebellion, was a resident of the territory that is now Bay county in 1847, and died at Saginaw soon after the close of the war.

    Gen. David B. Birney, who made a national reputation as a brave commander in the late war, was a pioneer of Bay County, coming here to reside with his father's family in 1842.

    George Birney, who was a young lad when he came here in 1842, died at Bay City and his remains are mouldering in the Birney cemetery.

    Florence Birney, now Mrs. Charles E. Jennison, has been a resident of this locality since 1842.

    Fitzhugh Birney, a major in the late war, who died soon after its close, spent a few of the earliest years of his life at Lower Saginaw.

  • Birney cemetery is now Pine Ridge Cemetery located on the corner of Ridge and Tuscola roads in Bay City.

    Sources & Other Contributers of Data:

  • Birney Family Menu

    Family Genealogy
    Family Pictorial
    1893 KY Newspapers
    * {1948 Saginaw News (pdf)}
    First family:
    Agatha (McDowell), spouse
    James Birney, 1st child
    William Birney, 2nd child
    David Bell Birney, 5th child
    James G. Birney IV, g-son
    Second family:
    Elizabeth (Fitzhugh), spouse
    Fitzhugh Birney, 1st child
    Names Index
    Addison, Elizabeth
    Ashby, Mattie C.
    Ashby, Turner
    Backus, Frederick F.
    Birney, Agatha M.
    Birney, Agnes L.
    Birney, Albert A.
    Birney, Alice A.
    Birney, Anna M.R.
    Birney, Anna L.
    Birney, Anna H.
    Birney, Annabel
    Birney, Arthur A. (2)
    Birney, Arthur H.
    Birney, Catherine (2)
    Birney, Catherine W.
    Birney, David B.
    B?irney, David B. Jr.
    Birney, Dion B.
    Birney, Dion L.
    Birney, Dion S.
    Birney, Edith S.
    Birney, Elizabeth F.
    Birney, Ellen
    Birney, Fitzhugh
    Birney, Florence
    Birney, Florence H.
    Birney, Frank C.
    Birney, George
    Birney, Georgina
    Birney, Harriet L.
    Birney, Helen
    Birney, Herman H.
    Birney, James G. I
    Birney, James G. II
    Birney, James M. III
    Birney, James G. IV
    Birney, James G. V
    Birney, Katherine
    Birney, Knox B.
    Birney, Leslie D.
    Birney, Lillian
    Birney, Margaret
    Birney, Margaret M.
    Birney, Martha R.
    Birney, Mary E.
    Birney, Mary I.
    Birney, Newton D.
    Birney, Philip K.
    Birney, Richard C.
    Birney, Robert J.
    Birney, Sarah S.
    Birney, Sophia H.
    Birney, Theodore W.
    Birney, Ulric H.
    Birney, William G.
    Birney, William M.
    Birney, William V.
    Blackwell, Alice B.
    Blackwell, Arthur M.
    Blackwell, Birney
    Blackwell, Frank E.
    Blackwell, Frank E. Jr.
    Blackwell, Janet D.
    Blackwell, William T.
    Boud, Elizabeth
    Callam, Franklin W.
    Carroll, Maria
    Case, Anna B.
    Conway, Helen T.
    Crawford, Sara I.
    Dana, Anna F.
    Deuel, Mary D.
    Evans, Edward M.
    Fitzhugh, Ann C.
    Fitzhugh, Daniel H.
    Fitzhugh, Elizabeth P.
    Fitzhugh, Henry
    Fitzhugh, James
    Fitzhugh, Mary
    Fitzhugh, Rebecca
    Fitzhugh, Richard P
    Fitzhugh, Robert H
    Fitzhugh, Samuel H.
    Fitzhugh, William F.
    Fitzhugh, William H.
    Getchell, Randolph
    Gilbert, Frederick
    Greer, Winifred
    Hoffman, Catharine H.
    Hoyt, Edgar
    Hughs, Ann
    Hungerford, Maraherita
    Jennison, Charles E.
    Jennison, Charles M.
    Jennison, Dudley
    Jennison, Elizabeth
    Jennison, George
    Jennison, Maria A.
    Jennison, William
    Lane, Mary J.
    Madison, John
    Madison, Margaretta
    Marshall, Anna M.
    Marshall, Humphrey
    Marshall, James B.
    Marshall, John J.
    Marshall, John J. Jr.
    Marshall, Kate B.
    Marshall, Nellie
    Maxson, Edward C. Jr.
    McDowell, Agatha
    McDowell, William
    Middleton, Emily L.
    McLellan, Alice M.
    Moore, Mary A.
    Moulton, Amanda S.
    Polk, Clement
    Reed, John
    Reed, Martha
    Sanford, John L.
    Seip, Albert N.
    Seip, Albert B.
    Seymore, Charles B.
    Stillman, Liela B.
    Stratton, Laura
    Strong, James H.
    Tallman, John T.
    White, Alonzo J.
    Wilcox, Elizabeth
    Birney Family Images

    James G. Birney II

    James Birney III

    Gen. William Birney

    Gen. David Bell Birney

    Capt. James G. Birney IV

    Williamburg Cemetery
    Groveland, Livingston Co.
    New York
    James G. Birney II
    Elizabeth (Fitzhugh) Birney
    Anna (Hughes) Birney
    Fitzhugh Birney

    Pine Ridge Cemetery
    Bay City, MI

    Pine Ridge Cemetery
    Birney Family Site.
    James Birney III
    Amanda (Moulton) Birney
    James Birney IV
    Sophia (Hull) Birney
    George Birney

    Birney Park - Madison Ave.
    Bay City, MI

    {Birney Crossword Puzzle}
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